Tutumatai Station named B+LNZ’s Whenua Māori Monitor Farm

// B+LNZ

Tutumatai Station in Ruatoria has joined Beef + Lamb New Zealand's (B+LNZ) Whenua Māori Extension programme as a Monitor Farm, which kicked off this March.


The Monitor Farm approach focuses on a single farm business over the course of multiple years, testing new technology and measuring the impact over time.  

Pania King, B+LNZ’s Mātanga Whenua Māori (Māori Agribusiness Advisor), says B+LNZ’s commitment to building connections within the Māori farming community made Tutumatai Station the perfect selection to join the programme.   

“Although there has been Māori agribusiness operations in previous Monitor Farm programmes, we have now formalised their involvement under our new delivery model ‘He Kai Kei Aku Ringa’, which translates to ‘to grow and nurture with your own hands’.” 

“Māori agribusiness represents a significant and growing part of the red meat sector and has some unique characteristics including the structure of their operations and level of development of their land,” she says. 

Covering 970 hectares in the Mangaoporo and Tapuaeroa Valley’s, Tutumatai Station is a sheep and beef breeding and finishing property, with additional leased land blocks contributing to its scale and diverse climate and land classes. In total, the Station manages 1,940 hectares, supporting 10,300 stock units comprising Romney sheep and Angus cattle.  

Tutumatai Station is more than just a farm; it is a hub for various enterprises. The owners manage two pinus radiata forestry interests registered in the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) and maintain a strategic partnership with Ngati Porou Manuka, involving hives spread across six apiary sites targeting high-value honey. 

The first Monitor Farm field day was held at Tutumatai Station on 1 March, drawing over 110 attendees. Also hosted that day was the Ahuwhenua Ngati Porou Discussion Group, celebrating the reinvigoration of this important community group programme. 

“The day included specialist speakers and advisors covering stock policies, animal health, feed management, Taiao (environment) and achieving targets.” 

Māori-owned farms often have different governance structures. Due to Tutumatai Station’s multiple owners (reflective of many Māori-owned farms) under Rotokautuku XIC Incorporation, the farm manager plays a crucial role in keeping all owners informed and involved in on-farm decision making. 

Ed Kawhia, Incorporation Chair, says  Tutumatai is an integral part of Ngati Porou identity. The farm, proudly Māori-owned with 68 owners, envisions thriving business operations. 

Cam Brown, Tutumatai Station's Farm Manager, along with right-hand man Shane Sergeant, General Shepherd work with the owners to manage on-farm decisions, production, livestock, and environmental aspects. The station's commitment to a hogget and heifer breeding programme, focusing on improving fertility and maternal uptake, aligns with recent stock policy changes. 

B+LNZ will continue to profile the journey of Tutumatai Station as part of the programme, including tracking the farm’s objectives and performance throughout the next two-to-three years.

Pania Story